So, I got Spycraft 2.0 for Christmas, friggan finally, and I have to say, this thing is heavy! I mean, my arms get tired holding-to-read this for extended periods of time heavy, and I’m fine with that, since it’s not like I need my arms for anything like writing or anything. But I’m straying from the point of this post.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the Campaign Qualities section. I can’t help but ponder different combinations to different settings, whether original or otherwise. Because of this, I happen to have a bunch of ideas for settings that I’m probably not going to use. So what do I do? That’s where you forumites can be of assistance! If for the only reason of trying to poke people’s brains to try to get ideas flowing, I thought of posting some of these Quality combos I came up with, as well as some tips on how to run the worlds.
To start things off, a setting I originally created for the Chasm Group, but can easily be used separately. In fact, I have some background rattling around for this that I might post at a future date for those interested. But for now, unto the breach!
Parallel 23: Razor’s Edge- Techno-thriller genre.
Razor’s Edge is what could be called a double-edged sword. Similar to Earth in tech-level, cultures, and history, save for one thing: around WWII, Germany started the ball rolling in the use of technologically-experimental armies. Specially trained soldiers armed with the best gadgets and weapons a country could provide, starting with the power-armored 1st Panserklien Korp that saw action during the Battle of the Bulge, leading up to the present-day US TECOM, the technological edge afforded to these armies is only tempered by their limited number within the normal rank and file.
A side effect is a boost, currently minor but bound to increase, in technological advancement in both military and civilian application. While there are a number of cases of designs not living up to expectations, with more than a few either getting shelved or reevaluated for future use (the ray gun armed jet-packers experiment in the 1950s tends to be avoided in any form of conversation in any circle), the general rule is that most of the gadgets enjoyed on Earth (and are expecting to enjoy in a few years) were revealed 5-10 years earlier on Razor, and led to some cultural events happening earlier, such as the internet boom in the mid-1980s.
The Chasm group, upon first discovery, nearly salivated at the prospects. Some of the most advanced equipment, all of them easily copied and/or reverse engineered, and just close enough to the cutting edge to be revealed or patented almost immediately after recovery.
There is one problem. The residents of The Edge have notoriously happy trigger fingers. While the name Razor’s Edge can be easily used to describe the focus on application of technological advancement compared to Earth, it can also be used to describe the general attitude of the relations between the nations and their various organizations. If there isn’t a war, there is an imminent threat of one. The ones that do break out tend to be swift and deadly, and ones that do drag out tend to lead to some… dramatic measures for victory, as the radioactive wastelands of Afghanistan and Vietnam can attest to. Technology is aggressively guarded, with those that don’t have it desperately trying to get it from the ones that do, mostly from the shattered ruins of the former Soviet Union.
Despite the danger, the Chasm group sees a golden opportunity, and trips are constantly planned.
Just make sure to bring a big gun and an extra magazine.
Notes: Inspired by Tom Clancy/Dan Brown techno-thrillers with a focus on cutting-edge equipment, such as Ghost Recon, Act of War: Direct Action (and High Treason), as well as a number of “Secret Weapons of WWII” games in circulation, such as Silent War and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Can easily be run as a separate setting, with PCs as soldiers of the various experimental armies, or as the numerous “tech-hunter” spies risking their lives for that extra edge their host nation is looking for. Either way, the tech-level is high, but the stakes are even higher.
Big Budget: Whether spies or soldiers, the nations of Razor’s Edge love throwing their full weight behind almost every operation.
Gunmen: When you can have a gun-cam mounted GAET-based drum-fed battle rifle, who in their right mind wants to bother with melee combat?
Market: Tech is king, and the ones with the mostest, the bestest, the soonest, rules the battlefield. (Feel free to swap with Mercenary for the (even) more combat-oriented missions)
Blockbuster: Things sure do blow up real good round here…
Faction: Because of the expensive nature of most of the equipment used, agents are normally forced to be backed by an overarching organization. Even “freelancers”, such as mercenaries, find it beneficial to join an organized group, much like Private Military Contractors today.
Violent: Often a mission that doesn’t devolve into a shootout is combed over head to toe by Mission Control to see what went wrong.
That's all for now. Hope to get another one up soon.